November 17, 2022

Coming Together for Ottawa’s Cats

The issue of homeless cats is one that Ottawa and the Ottawa Humane Society have constantly grappled with. 

I have seen the terrible things that happen to cats left to fend for themselves. Killed by predators, maimed by vehicles, succumbing to the elements, disease and starvation. These cats are often brought to the OHS, but often it is too late.

With the support of our community, the OHS has taken many steps to address cat homelessness — from our Mobile Spay/Neuter Service and microchip clinics, to marketing and education campaigns on pet safety and identification.

But so many cats still come to the OHS, and our partners see the same trend. We have to do more. Yesterday, the OHS brought together community partners interested in curbing cat homelessness, and hosted a first-ever Community Cat Summit.

Led by renowned wildlife biologist Dr. John Boone, the summit explored how we can compassionately and effectively end Ottawa’s cycle of homeless cats.

Ending cat homelessness is a complex problem, but one we — with our partners’ and community’s support — believe we can solve.

While there were many important takeaways from Dr. Boone’s presentation, the most heart-wrenching was that the greatest victims — and those least seen — are the many young kittens born outside who suffer and lead lives that are cut horribly short.

Together, we must change people’s views on cats in our community and our responsibility to these animals. We must support efforts for sterilization, and for providing a safe world for cats to live in: either indoors, or outdoors safely supervised by their owner. Until then, too many cats will continue to suffer.   I learned a lot from the summit and I started getting even more excited about how the OHS can work together with the community to save cats. It’s another step in a long journey, but one that is so worthwhile.

Lindsey Marcon
Manager: Community Services